AES Semigas


21 December 2021

Tower and Juniper announce first open-market silicon photonics platform with monolithically integrated III-V lasers

Specialty analog foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd (which has fabrication plants in Migdal Haemek, Israel, and at its US subsidiaries in Newport Beach, CA and San Antonio, TX, and at TowerJazz Japan Ltd) and optical network provider Juniper Networks Inc of Sunnyvale, CA, USA have announced what is claimed to be the first silicon photonics (SiPho) foundry-ready process with integrated III-V lasers, amplifiers, modulators and detectors.

This integrated laser process addresses optical connectivity in data centers and telecom networks, as well as new emerging applications in artificial intelligence (AI), light detection & ranging (LiDAR) and other sensors for autonomous vehicles (AVs) etc. According to market research firm Yole Développement, the silicon photonics transceiver market for data centers is expected to rise rapidly at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40% to over $5bn in 2025.

The new platform co-integrates III-V lasers, semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA), electro-absorption modulators (EAM) and photodetectors with silicon photonics devices, all monolithically on a single chip. This enables smaller, higher-channel count and more power-efficient optical architectures and solutions. Foundry availability will enable a broad array of product developers to create highly integrated photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for diverse markets.

Process design kits (PDK) are expected to be available by year end and the first open multi-project wafer (MPW) run are expected to be offered early next year. First samples of full 400Gb/s and 800Gb/s PIC reference designs with integrated lasers are expected to be available in second-quarter 2022.

“Our mutual development work with Tower has been extraordinarily successful in qualifying this innovative silicon photonics technology in a high-volume manufacturing facility,” comments Juniper’s CEO Rami Rahim. “By offering this capability to the entire industry, Juniper offers the potential to radically reduce the cost of optics while lowering the barrier to entry for customers,” he adds.

“Our partnership with Juniper on silicon photonics is bringing a paradigm shift for product development across our industry,” reckons Tower’s CEO Russell Ellwanger. “It is now possible to mix the advantages of III-V semiconductors with high-volume silicon photonics manufacturing,” he adds. “Being the singular open-market, integrated laser silicon photonics platform, and having a multi-year advantage over any potential foundry competitor, we are jointly creating breakthrough products with truly unique value for our industry.”

See related items:

Tower and Quintessent partner to create foundry silicon photonics platform with integrated quantum dot laser

Juniper to acquire silicon photonics firm Aurrion

Tags: TowerJazz Silicon photonics III-Vs-on-Si PICs




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